Pharrell and Chad met at a summer camp for the school of The Gifted and Talented in Virginia Beach, where Williams was a drummer and Hugo played tenor saxophone. They were also both members of a marching band; Pharrell played kettle drum and Chad was a student conductor. In 1990 Chad and Pharrell formed a 4-piece "R&B type" group along with friends Shay and Mike Etheridge, which they named The Neptunes. Upon entering a local talent contest, they were discovered by Teddy Riley, whose studio was close to Pharrell's school. After graduating from high school, they signed with Riley as a group.
Through working with Riley, Pharrell went on to write a verse for Wreckx-N-Effect's 1992 #2 (billboard hot 100) hit "Rump Shaker". In 1994, Hugo and Williams had established themselves formally as a production duo under the previously used name "The Neptunes", and produced "Tonight's The Night" from Teddy Riley's group BLACKstreet's self-titled debut. Over the next three years they continued to produce occasionally. Some of the production, such as for SWV (1996) and Total (1996), had little resemblance to what would become their distinctive sound, while other songs such as Mase's 1998 No.8 (Billboard hot 100) hit "Lookin' At Me" (from the Harlem World album, 1997) showed clear signs the Neptunes sound was developing.
Their first major production hit, and the most clear beginning of the distinctive Neptunes sound, came with N.O.R.E.'s "Superthug" in 1998, reaching #36 on the Billboard Hot 100, and gaining them widespread attention for the first time. The duo then went on to work heavily with Kelis, producing her first album Kaleidoscope which was the duo's very first full album production and Ol' Dirty Bastard's record Got Your Money, on which Kelis is featured. They achieved huge commercial success with tracks like Jay-Z's "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)", Mystikal's "Shake Ya Ass", and then-newly-renamed Diddy's single "D.I.D.D.Y". Other notable hits during their commercial rise were Busta Rhymes' "Pass The Courvoisier pt. 2" and Usher's "U Don't Have to Call".
Kelis was one of several artists whose careers Hugo and Williams have helped launch; artists such as the Clipse, Vanessa Marquez and Justin Timberlake's solo career were also closely tied to the Neptunes' involvement. They have also helped re-launch the careers of Snoop Dogg, Robin Thicke and Mystikal.
In 2001, The Neptunes gained their first worldwide hit with Britney Spears' single, "I'm A Slave 4 U", which reached #1 in several countries in Europe and South America. The following year they reached #1 in the U.S. with Nelly's single, "Hot in Herre". In August of the same year, The Neptunes were named "Producers of the Year" at both The Source Awards and the Billboard Music Awards.
In 2003, they released a self-credited album called The Neptunes Present... Clones, featuring songs and remixes from various Star Trak artists. This album topped the US Billboard 200 Albums Chart.
The Neptunes went home with two Grammy Awards in 2004, one for "Producer of the Year, Non-Classical", and another for "Best Pop Vocal Album" for their work on Justin Timberlake's No.2 Billboard hit Justified. They also gained their first UK #1, again with Nelly, and Flap Your Wings.
Read more about this topic: The Neptunes
Famous quotes containing the word biography:
“A great biography should, like the close of a great drama, leave behind it a feeling of serenity. We collect into a small bunch the flowers, the few flowers, which brought sweetness into a life, and present it as an offering to an accomplished destiny. It is the dying refrain of a completed song, the final verse of a finished poem.”
—André Maurois (18851967)
“The best part of a writers biography is not the record of his adventures but the story of his style.”
—Vladimir Nabokov (18991977)
“A biography is like a handshake down the years, that can become an arm-wrestle.”
—Richard Holmes (b. 1945)